President János Áder decorated demographer Paul Demeny (Pál György Demény) with the most prestigious state award, the Hungarian Order of St. Stephen, on Monday, Hungary’s August 20 national holiday.
At the ceremony in the presidential palace, Hungarian president said that only those European nations that “do not rely on external resources but have enough strength of their own to renew” will have a future. He added that
the Order of St. Stephen is given to “excellent Hungarians who find truths through their talent and work, walking their own path”.
In his address, the president said that Demeny has worked to reveal how building families affected larger groups of society, as well as nations or even periods in history. Demeny’s career “holds a mirror to an aged Europe,” Áder said, and insisted that “if Europe wants a different future for its descendants, action cannot be put off much longer”.
According to the official laudation, Demeny, one of the most famous experts of modern demography, was recognised for his promotion of Hungarian science and his life achievement aimed at reversing negative demographic tendencies.